9. Patriots 27, Raiders 20AFC Divisional, January 5, 1986
The Patriots, who entered the postseason as the fifth and final seed in the AFC, began their improbable journey to Super Bowl XX with a 26-14 victory over the Jets in the wild-card round, their first of three straight victories on the road. The Patriots built an early lead behind the passing of Tony Eason (no, really) and the running of Craig James (a much more admirable ballcarrier than broadcaster). The Raiders fought back to lead 20-17 at halftime, but the Patriots scored the winning touchdown and final points in the third quarter on special teams ace Jim Bowmans recovery of a fumbled punt in the end zone. The detail fans probably remember best from this game, however, is Raiders linebacker Matt Millen slugging Pat Sullivan on the field when the Patriots executive talked trash to him and Howie Long.